Fiddle/Violin from Scratch: Levels 1, 2, & 3


This series of classes is for adults and mature teens who are absolute beginners on the violin, already play a bit, or used to play and want to get back in shape.

Although some people use the class to supplement their private lessons, you are not required to take private lessons to be in any of these classes.

The course is offered in 3 levels. Each level may be repeated as many times as you like, until you feel ready for the next level. Skills for each level are described below.

For all classes:

  • Each session includes 6 weekly classes.
  • Each 6-week session costs $100. All sheet music and other teaching materials are included in this fee.
  • You’ll need your own instrument; contact us if you need help locating one.
  • Most semesters we will offer 2 or more sessions. You may take each level as many times as you like, until you feel ready to move to the next level. You may switch levels at the beginning of any 6-week session.
  • The age range is high school to mature adult.  (Children younger than high school age will be welcome in one of our youth ensembles)
  • You may register online for any of our classes.
  • Please email or call 217-384-5150 if you have any questions.
  • All classes are held at C4A.

Level 1: Absolute beginners

Schedule: Meets 5:30 to 6:30 PM Tuesdays, in the middle room downstairs.


  • Fall 2021 dates pending

Skills covered:

  • holding the instrument and bow
  • basic concepts for sound production
  • introductory fingerings
  • how to tune the instrument using a tuner
  • begin to develop your sense of rhythm using a metronome.

By the end of this class you should be able to play a few simple tunes and understand how the violin works.

Instructor: Johnny Lusardi

Level 2: Continuing beginners

Schedule: Meets 6:30 to 7:30 PM Tuesdays, in the middle room downstairs.


  • Fall 2021 dates pending

Skills covered: This level begins to refine skills learned in Level 1. Additional skills include:

  • introduction of a new finger pattern
  • introduction of different keys
  • introduction of slurs and hooked bowing
  • learning to play more tunes, and have more control of your bow.
  • introduction to reading music if you don’t already know how

By the time you are ready to graduate from this class you will be able to play more tunes and feel comfortable with a 2 octave G major scale and arpeggio series.

Instructor: Johnny Lusardi

Level 3: Advanced beginners to intermediate players

Schedule: Meets 5:30 to 7:00 PM Tuesdays, in the front  room downstairs.


  • Early session: TBA
  • Late session; TBA

Skills covered: This level continues to refine skills learned in Levels 1 & 2.  Additional skills include:

    • expand skills in tone production
    • deeper understanding of bow distribution
    • bow techniques for articulations
    • more finger patterns
    • chromatic fingerings
    • deeper understanding of keys and how they affect your fingering
    • introduction to understanding chords and harmonizing
    • introduction to harmonics
    • deepening music reading skills
    • deepening playing “by ear” skills


Repertoire will be selected from a variety of styles, and each arrangement will include a wide range of skill requirements so that everyone can participate at a level where they are comfortable.

The goal of this class is to prepare you to play in a mixed ensemble. Some people take the class and an ensemble concurrently.

Instructor: Robin Kearton